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Avoiding Telepressure - 5 Simple Ways to Wean yourself off after Hours Emails


Workplace wellbeing has been emerging as a hot topic over the past year. The Journal of Occupational Health Psychology has recently published a study on the increasingly popular compulsion of replying to emails outside of work hours. They have called it ‘workplace telepressure’ and claim that it has negative effects on your health and overall productivity. 

The concept of a ‘workaholic’ has been around for a long time; this interesting study has pushed the idea that taking our work home with us, and the pressure to be always available has long-reaching effects on our psychological and physical health. Take a look at these five useful tips for ensuring your mind and body gets enough time to switch off and recover each day, allowing you to return to your work environment the next day fresh and productive, rather than stressed and burnt out.

1.Switch it off

Agree upon a time of the evening, and vow to switch off the screens at that time every night. Use that time to wind down and relax, not only will the break from social media and reading emails do fantastic things for avoiding telepressure but turning off things that produce blue light (such as laptops and phones) has also been shown to significantly improve your quality of sleep.

2. Get a hobby

Find something that you can really absorb yourself in after work, maybe it’s that book you’ve been dying to read, or dropping your mind into a puzzle. Moving away from your working environment when you get home is as much a physical act as it is a psychological one.

3. Make it clear
Let your co-workers know that you will not be replying to emails outside of office hours, if it is an emergency (and only under agreed circumstance) they should call you instead. You could also set up an auto-responder on your email, and switch it on as soon as you leave the office.

4. Improve your to-do list
Having a finely tuned and well performing to-do list that you trust is a key component to relaxing and switching off when you are outside of work hours. Feeling confident that you didn’t forget that important memo, knowing that you will remember to follow-up with that lead is a great way to reduce stress and worry.

5. Write it down
Keep a note pad handy, and get all of your thoughts and ideas out onto it before you go to sleep at night. Thinking about that next email? Write a note to yourself. Worried about a big meeting? Vent on paper. Getting everything out of your head and onto paper (without pulling out your laptop and taking action) is an excellent way of clearing your mind and giving your brain the rest it needs.

As the use of electronic message-based technologies such as social media and email messaging become more commonly used, the importance of taking time out is also increasing. Letting go of the urge to respond instantly to clients and co-workers is an important step in making time for yourself, reducing stress and is an important preventative measure for your own health and wellbeing.

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